How To Fight Against Back Acne
Image by Freepik

Struggling with back acne? You’re not alone. Back acne, also known as bacne, can be just as frustrating and bothersome as facial acne. Whether you’re dealing with occasional breakouts or persistent acne on your back, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and strategies you need to fight against back acne and regain your confidence.

What is back acne?

Back acne, commonly referred to as “bacne,” is a skin condition characterized by the presence of acne lesions on the back. These lesions include various types of blemishes such as pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, and sometimes even deeper cysts. Similar to facial acne, back acne occurs when hair follicles become clogged with a combination of dead skin cells, excess oil (sebum), and bacteria. This leads to inflammation, redness, and the formation of acne. Factors like hormonal fluctuations, excess oil production, sweat, friction, and genetics contribute to the development of back acne.

Who might get back acne?

Back acne, or bacne, can affect a wide range of individuals. It is most commonly seen in teenagers and young adults during periods of hormonal changes, such as puberty. Hormonal fluctuations can lead to increased oil production in the skin’s sebaceous glands, which can contribute to the development of acne, including on the back.

However, back acne is not limited to just adolescents. It can also affect adults of various ages, especially those with a genetic predisposition to acne or individuals who have hormonal imbalances. People who engage in activities that cause sweating, such as athletes, can also be more prone to back acne due to the combination of sweat, oil, and friction.

What causes back acne?

Back acne is primarily caused by a combination of factors that contribute to the clogging of hair follicles and the subsequent development of acne lesions on the back. These factors include:

  1. Excess Oil Production: The sebaceous glands in the skin produce an oily substance called sebum. In individuals prone to acne, these glands can become overactive, leading to an excess production of sebum. This excess oil can mix with dead skin cells and block hair follicles, creating an environment conducive to acne formation.
  2. Dead Skin Cells: The skin continuously sheds dead skin cells. When these cells aren’t effectively removed from the surface of the skin, they can mix with sebum and become trapped within hair follicles, leading to clogged pores.
  3. Bacterial Growth: Bacteria, particularly Propionibacterium acnes, naturally reside on the skin. When trapped within clogged pores, these bacteria can multiply and trigger an inflammatory response, leading to the redness and swelling characteristic of acne.
  4. Hormonal Factors: Hormonal fluctuations, particularly during puberty, the menstrual cycle, and hormonal imbalances, can influence the activity of sebaceous glands. Increased hormone levels can lead to greater sebum production, making the skin more susceptible to acne.
  5. Sweat and Friction: Activities that induce sweating, such as exercising, can contribute to the development of back acne. Sweat mixed with oil and dead skin cells can exacerbate pore blockages. Additionally, friction from tight clothing, backpacks, or anything that rubs against the back can irritate the skin and contribute to acne.
  6. Genetics: A family history of acne can increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing back acne. Genetic factors can influence how the skin responds to hormonal changes, how much oil it produces, and how easily pores become clogged.
  7. Diet and Lifestyle: While the relationship is complex and not fully understood, certain dietary factors, such as high-glycemic-index foods and dairy products, have been suggested to potentially influence acne development. Stress and inadequate sleep can also impact hormonal balance and skin health, potentially contributing to acne.

How can I treat back acne?

Treating back acne, or bacne, involves a combination of skincare practices and, in more severe cases, medical interventions. Here are several strategies to help manage and treat back acne:

How To Fight Against Back Acne
Photo by Sunsetoned from Pexels
  1. Proper Cleansing:
    • Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser to wash your back daily. Choose a product that won’t strip your skin of natural oils.
    • Use lukewarm water and your fingertips to gently cleanse your back. Avoid scrubbing vigorously, as this can irritate the skin.
    • Pat your skin dry with a clean towel, rather than rubbing, to prevent further irritation.
  2. Exfoliation:
    • Exfoliate your back a few times a week to help remove dead skin cells and prevent pore clogging.
    • Choose an exfoliating product with ingredients like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid. These help to unclog pores and promote cell turnover.
    • Be careful not to over-exfoliate, as this can lead to excessive dryness or irritation.
  3. Topical Treatments:
    • Apply over-the-counter topical treatments containing active ingredients:
      • Benzoyl peroxide: Helps kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation.
      • Salicylic acid: Exfoliates and unclogs pores.
      • Sulfur: Reduces excess oil and has antimicrobial properties.
    • Apply a thin layer of the chosen product to the affected areas after cleansing. Follow the product’s instructions and start with a lower concentration to avoid irritation.
  4. Avoid Tight Clothing:
    • Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from natural fabrics like cotton.
    • Tight clothing can trap sweat and oil against the skin, exacerbating acne.
  5. Shower After Sweating:
    • If you’ve been sweating, especially after exercise, take a shower as soon as possible to remove sweat and prevent pore blockage.
    • Use a gentle cleanser and avoid using harsh soaps that can strip the skin.
  6. Hands Off:
    • Refrain from picking, squeezing, or scratching bacne lesions. This can lead to further inflammation, scarring, and even infection.
  7. Prescription Medications:
    • If over-the-counter treatments aren’t effective, consult a dermatologist.
    • They may prescribe:
      • Topical retinoids: Help unclog pores and reduce inflammation.
      • Oral antibiotics: Reduce bacteria and inflammation.
      • Hormonal treatments (for females): Regulate hormones and reduce oil production.
      • Isotretinoin (Accutane): A potent medication for severe acne that can be prescribed under close medical supervision.
  8. Professional Treatments:
    • Dermatologists can offer treatments like:
      • Chemical peels: Exfoliate and unclog pores.
      • Microdermabrasion: Remove dead skin cells and improve skin texture.
      • Laser therapy: Targets bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  9. Skincare Products:
    • Use oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizers, and sunscreens to keep your skin hydrated and protected without clogging pores.
  10. Healthy Lifestyle:
    • Maintain a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
    • Stay hydrated by drinking enough water.
    • Manage stress through exercise, meditation, or yoga, as stress can contribute to hormonal imbalances.
  11. Hygiene:
    • Change sweaty clothes promptly and use a gentle, fragrance-free laundry detergent to prevent irritation.

What are the symptoms of back acne?

The symptoms of back acne, commonly known as bacne, are similar to those of facial acne and include various types of skin blemishes and related manifestations. These symptoms may vary in severity and appearance, and they often include:

  1. Pimples: Small raised bumps on the skin that can be red or inflamed. Pimples may contain pus and can be tender to touch.
  2. Blackheads: Open comedones that appear as dark spots on the skin’s surface. They occur when a hair follicle becomes clogged with oil and dead skin cells, and the pore remains open.
  3. Whiteheads: Closed comedones that appear as small, white, or flesh-colored bumps. They are formed when a hair follicle becomes clogged, but the pore remains closed.
  4. Pustules: Similar to pimples, pustules are raised, and inflamed bumps are filled with pus. They can be red at the base and may have a white or yellow center.
  5. Cysts: Deeper, larger, and often painful lumps under the skin. Cysts are typically filled with pus and are more likely to cause scarring if not treated properly.
  6. Redness and Inflammation: Areas of the skin affected by bacne can become red, inflamed, and sometimes swollen due to the underlying inflammatory response.
  7. Scarring: Severe or untreated bacne can lead to scarring as the skin attempts to heal. Cysts and inflamed lesions are particularly prone to causing scars.
  8. Itching and Discomfort: Bacne can sometimes cause itching or discomfort, especially if the lesions are irritated or if clothing rubs against them.
  9. Increased Sensitivity: The affected skin may become more sensitive than usual, making it more prone to irritation and discomfort.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can back acne be caused by genetics?

A: Yes, genetics can play a role in your predisposition to acne. If your parents had acne, you might be more prone to it.

Is it okay to use body washes with exfoliating beads?

A: Exfoliating beads can be harsh on the skin and worsen acne. It’s better to choose exfoliators with chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid.

Can I still exercise if I have back acne?

A: Absolutely! Just make sure to shower immediately after exercising to remove sweat and bacteria that can contribute to acne.

Are natural remedies effective against back acne?

A: Some natural remedies like tea tree oil or aloe vera can help, but they might not be as potent as medical treatments.

Can my diet really impact my back acne?

A: Yes, certain foods can trigger inflammation and worsen acne. A healthy diet rich in antioxidants can support clear skin.

How long does it take to see results from professional treatments?

A: Results vary, but improvement may be noticeable within a few weeks to a few months, depending on the chosen treatment.


Fighting back acne requires a multi-faceted approach that encompasses skincare, lifestyle, and, if necessary, professional intervention. By following these tips, maintaining good hygiene, and staying patient, you can take control of your back acne and achieve clear, healthy skin. Remember, consistency is key, and with dedication, you’ll be well on your way to banishing back acne for good.

Image Credit : Image by Freepik

Previous articleWhat Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Anxiety?
Next articleOrganic Cucumber Makeup Remover, The Easy Recipe


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here